A turnkey solution proposed by Mills CNC, that included an investment in a new Doosan TT 1800SY (Twin Turret/Twin Spindle) turning centre, has delivered outstanding productivity and performance benefits to a leading precision manufacturer.
Precision air motor manufacturing specialist – Briggs Brothers (Engineers) Ltd – has recently purchased a new Doosan TT 1800SY (Twin Turret/Twin Spindle) turning centre from Mills CNC.
The machine, installed at the company’s facility in Redditch in December 2010, was supplied as the machine tool element of a total, integrated turnkey package designed, managed and implemented by Mills in partnership with Briggs Brothers.
The TT 1800SY machine purchased by Briggs Brothers was supplied with an automatic bar feeder and driven tools, and operates as an autonomous manufacturing cell. The machine is being used exclusively to manufacture complex, high-precision air motor parts (e.g. front plates, rear plates, rotors, cylinder housings etc), for Briggs Brothers’ principal customer – Norbar Torque Tools Ltd., and specifically for Norbar’s ‘Pneutorque® PTM-Series’ of hand held – air operated torque multipliers.
The PTM Series has steadily increased in volume over several years; with production now triple the original requirement per annum.
Richard Clark Briggs Bros. Managing Director says, “These parts were originally manufactured on our 2 CNC lathes and 2 machining centres, which necessitated transferring parts between machines and cleaning and loading fixtures in between machining operations. This was very time consuming and created backlogs whilst waiting for machines to become available.”
It was this lack of ‘free’ capacity that led Briggs Brothers (initially) to consider strengthening their existing manufacturing process by adding another machining centre to the mix and duplicating fixturing.
Continues Richard Clark:
‘We approached a number of machine tool suppliers with the intention of investing in another machining centre’.
‘However, once we had explained what we wanted to achieve to Mills CNC’s pre-sales and applications – their response was very different from the other companies we had approached.’
The mainstay element of Mills recommended turnkey solution was the TT 1800SY (Twin Turret/Twin Spindle) turning centre and not a machining centre.
Furthermore Mills proposed (and went on to demonstrate) that all PTM Series parts could be manufactured solely on the TT machine – thereby negating the need for an additional machining centre and ‘freeing-up’ all the capacity on the existing CNC lathes and machining centres.
PTM Series parts (front and rear plates, cylinders etc.), are now machined in single set-ups and cycle times have been significantly reduced. Owing to the elimination of transferring parts between machines – part accuracies have been improved, productivity has increased and the company now has a more reliable and repeatable machining process.
In addition to the TT machine, Mills also proposed (and subsequently supplied), the work-holding, tooling, bar-feeder and CNC part Programmes required. And, as part of the turnkey solution, Mills verified the manufacturing process and ‘passed off’ the machine and all equipment at its own facility and at Briggs Brothers, once installation had occurred. Training was also provided by Mills via the CNC Training Academy.
Concludes Richard Clark:
‘The investment was bigger than we originally intended but the results have been exceptional.
‘Furthermore, because all PTM Series parts are now machined on the TT machine, we have significant turning and milling capacity that we use to manufacture complex, high-precision air motor parts for a number of different customers operating in the automotive, medical, aerospace and mining sectors.
‘Because Mills took the time to understand our business and the issues we were confronting – they recommended a be-spoke solution that has paid dividends and delivered the goods.’
The productivity increases are due to the performance characteristics of the TT 1800SY machine and the turnkey manufacturing process proposed by Mills.